Minister Lake met with the Saunders community council

POSTED: 10/9/13 12:22 PM

St. Maarten – Vromi Minister Maurice Lake met last week Wednesday with the Saunders Community Council upon the request of the council.

The Saunders Community Council has a number of pressing issues that they would like to see addressed by the Minister of Vromi.

One of the points brought forward is a community center for the Saunders district and the council would like to request government long lease land in order to be able to build a community center in their neighborhood. Minister Lake indicated that although the availability of land in this area is very limited, he would have his staff look into where this would be possible.

Minister Lake also suggested the possibility of the council identifying land that is for sale in their neighborhood and the possibility of compensating the seller then with another piece of government land in order to make this possible.

“We need to look for solutions together, and by doing this we are able to accomplish bigger things for our districts,” Lake said.

Another point brought forward was the cleaning up of the Saunders district. There are a number of car wrecks in the area that are an eyesore. There are garages operating allegedly without hindrance permits, and according to the council, Gebe has also done sloppy work in the district leaving water pits uncovered, roads dug up, not fixed back after more than six months, and light poles on the side of the road.

Another issue was the lack of street lights in the neighborhood and the fact that there is no underground cabling in certain areas of Saunders. As a result, there are unsightly poles with cables hanging and lights flickering which cannot be replaced because new aluminum poles are needed in order to replace the lights. Mention was also made of the location of water leaks in the area.

Minister Lake was accompanied by the Head of Inspection, Henry Ellis as well as Gebe Co-Director, Romelio Maduro. They were able to indicate what measures had already been taken and what measures they would continue to take to remedy the concerns of the council.

There were also complaints of noise pollution from establishments in the neighborhood and on some roads the traffic has been rerouted and as a result people are speeding though certain streets resulting in accidents. The council would like to see speed bumps put in in certain areas in order to increase safety for the residents.

The Saunders Community Council would also like to beautify their neighborhood in time for their annual Christmas celebration. They would like the usual assistance from the Department of Infrastructural Management to assist with trucks to pick up garbage which the residents can put out during a general clean-up campaign. They are also looking forward to the placement of the “Welcome to Saunders” sign being placed before the Christmas event with flag poles.

Minister Lake assured the council that he and his team would look into all the issues brought forward, but urged the council to submit everything to him in writing so that it could be dealt with promptly based on a plan of action and timetable.

The department heads present and the manager of Gebe promised to do their part to take care of the problems. Acting Head of the Maintenance Department Edelmiro Jansen and Community Police Officer Leonard as well as members of the minister’s cabinet were present for the meeting.

The council then thanked the minister for coming to the meeting on such short notice and with such a large team, and expressed how happy they were to learn that some of the issues that they brought forward were already being addressed within the ministry in collaboration with the Community Police Officer.


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